There have been big changes to the FAFSA filing deadlines. The window to start the FAFSA application for the 2017-2018 school year opened on October 1 – three months earlier than usual. If your child is in college now or headed for college next year, start filling out the FAFSA now. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is required by most colleges for your child to be eligible for financial aid. This includes merit-based scholarships that don’t even come from the government. Therefore, the FAFSA has become a key document for just about anyone in the throes of paying for college.
Beginning the process in October will allow students to apply for college and apply for financial aid at the same time, which in my humble opinion makes a world of sense. Another good change is that you will use the prior year (2015) income and tax information when filling out the form. In the past, students and parents were required to estimate their tax information in January and the rush to complete their taxes before their colleges filing deadline. Using prior year information means that there is no longer a rush and the information can be right the first time.
I’ve included a table that shows the new deadlines, and what tax information you will be using. Note that the deadline for your college may be different from the ending deadline here, so get started early. Your college and the FAFSA website (fafsa.ed.gov) can provide additional information.
[column_wrapper][col column="4" last="false"]IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE
JULY 1, 2017 - JUNE 30, 2018[/col][col column="4" last="false"]YOU WILL SUBMIT THIS FAFSA
2017-2018[/col][col column="4" last="false"]YOU CAN SUBMIT THE FAFSA
OCTOBER 1, 2016 - JUNE 30, 2018[/col][col column="4" last="true"]USING TAX INFORMATION FROM